When the California University women’s basketball team begins play in the NCAA Division II tournament tonight, the Vulcans will do so knowing they have the player who is regarded as the best in the region.
Cal redshirt senior forward Seairra Barrett was named the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) Atlantic Region Player of the Year on Thursday.
Barrett is the second Cal player in the last three seasons to be tabbed the regional player of the year. She ranks third in the PSAC and sixth in the region in scoring with a career-high 21.7 points per game. Additionally, Barrett paces the conference with 8.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game, which is also the best in the region. She has six 30-point games this season and is shooting 50.1 percent from the field and leads the PSAC with 10 double-doubles.
A three-year starter, Barrett was named both the PSAC West Athlete of the Year and PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Year last week. Barrett ranks among the top five all-time in school history with both 1,912 points and 981 rebounds, plus sits seventh with 255 steals.
Barrett will lead Cal (24-5) into the first round of the Atlantic Regional tonight (7:30 p.m.) against Charleston (W.Va.) in Glenville, W.Va. It is the fourth and final game in the regional’s opening day.
Cal is the fourth seed in the eight-team regional. Charleston (25-6) is the No. 5 seed.
The game is rematch from a contest in the Mountain East/PSAC Challenge that was played back in November when Cal defeated Charleston 70-53 at the Convocation Center. Barrett led Cal with a game-high 34 points in that first meeting with Charleston, the Mountain East Conference runner-up. The Vulcans were able to force 27 turnovers in that game.
The Cal-Charleston winner will play either top-seeded Glenville State (29-2) or eighth-seeded West Liberty (21-9) in the regional semifinals Saturday night. The championship game will be played Monday. All games in the regional will be played at Glenville.